Listen to this interview of Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis, creators of the website newlearningonline.com and also professors at the College of Education, University of Illinois. We talk about monastic instruction in the sixth century, we talk about textbook learning in the sixteenth century, and we talk about cybersecurity education in the twenty-first century, but overall we talk about imbalances in self agency.
Interviewer: "Could you describe one pedagogical affordance of the technology on your learning platform CGScholar?"
Bill Cope: "So, what we're doing is we're using big data and learning analytics as an alternative feedback system. So, what we say, then, is, okay, well: 'The test is dead! Long live assessment!' We have so much data from CGScholar. Why would you create a little sample of an arrow or two at the end of a course, when we can from day one be data mining every single thing you do? And by the way, by the end of the course, we have these literally millions of data points and for every student. Now, the other thing, as well, is, our argument is––and we call this recursive feedback––is that every little data point is a piece of actionable feedback. Someone makes a comment on what you do, you get a score from somebody on your work against a Likert scale...so what we're doing is, we have this idea of complete data transparency, but also, we're not going to make any judgments for you or about you, or the system's not going to do it, without that feedback being actionable, so that you can then improve your work. It feeds into your work. So, the difference is, instead of assessment being retrospective and judgmental, what we're doing is making micro-judgments which are prospective and constructive and going towards your learning."
Daniel Shea, heads Scholarly Communications, a Special Series on the New Books Network. Daniel is Director of the Heidelberg Writing Program, a division of the Language Center at Heidelberg University, Germany. Just write Daniel.Shea@zsl.uni-heidelberg.de